This forgotten element could help solve our energy crisis and may be key to meeting Paris Accords.

It’s been illustrated in various scenarios by a large number of entities like the IEA, World Resource Institute, Shell, DNVGL etc. that meeting Paris 2 degrees C in the next 40 years is difficult. While renewables, energy storage, energy efficiency are scaling up quickly, they alone will not get it done. In many of the more optimistic scenarios, bio energy carbon capture (BECC) is holy grail for meeting that timeline but its not  anywhere near ready for deployment.

Hydrogen, while derided over the years as not being efficient and dangerous (its way less dangerous than gasoline) may be a key ingredient for the low carbon energy industry. As pointed out in this weforum.org article, it can be used economically for building heating, transportation, maritime shipping and potentially electric grid storage. H2 cars & trucks are already driving in many countries including the U.S. and initial filling station & supply infrastructure (using existing natural gas pipelines) are being deployed. 

But the big issue is how to create H2 without GHG emissions. Electrolysis is costly currently. Lower cost R&D stage electrolysis  when combined with abundant low cost renewable energy to power the system looks promising. The question is can it be scaled up quickly by entities like Shell and others who are working diligently on H2 deployment?

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